November 20, 2014

Michigan E. coli Cases Linked to Unpasteurized Cider

cider

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan, along with Community Health and the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development are investigating a series of E. coli infections that may be associated with unpasteurized, unlabeled apple juice in Antrim County. Officials are collecting stool samples and samples of the cider to test for the outbreak strain of the bacteria. The cider was made by an unlicensed facility and was not labeled as unpasteurized. Public health officials warn that it's important to purchase cider from licensed facilities and vendors. Unpasteurized cider, along with raw milk and under-cooked meat, have been the cause of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacterial outbreaks in the past. The FDA says that most juice sold in the U.S. is pasteurized. … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Saginaw Correctional Facility in Michigan

Prison

John C. Cordell, Public Information Specialist with the Michigan Department of Corrections told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is an outbreak of STEC, or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. The facility is quarantined with no prisoner transfers, no group programming or prisoner visitation. So far, 89 prisoners and seven staff have been confirmed ill with the E. coli bacteria. Four prisoners have been hospitalized, but there are no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. The hospitalizations have been for dehydration. Most cases occurred from August 27 to August 30, 2012. The outbreak may be over, since no cases were identified on September 3 or 4, 2012. The facility may be able to return to normal operations at the end of this week, since the … [Read more...]

USDA Announces New Traceback Policy for Contaminated Beef

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Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA's Under Secretary for Food Safety, announced in a press conference on May 2, 2012 that the government is changing its traceback policy for contaminated beef that test positive for shiga-toxin producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). "Our keys goals are to strengthen our ability to protect consumers and to bolster prevention-based public safeguards," she said. "We are going to use traceback policies as a proactive measure, launching the investigations earlier to identify contaminated products before they reach consumers." Traceback is the path investigators follow to find out where the contaminated product came from, and to discover where bacteria were introduced into the product. The new policy will allow the USDA to begin traceback and investigations if … [Read more...]

Manganese May be Treatment for Shiga Toxin

E. coli HUS

The journal Science has published a study about using the mineral manganese to treat shiga toxin, one of the complications of E. coli infections. The study examined mice exposed to lethal doses of the toxin that didn't suffer any of the typical side effects when treated with manganese. Shiga toxin is produced by some E. coli strains. The infection is usually caused by eating undercooked contaminated ground beef, unpasteurized apple juice, contaminated water, raw milk, and alfalfa sprouts. Some person-to-person spread can take place in places such as nursing homes. The highest rates for infection are in children under the age of 5. Elderly people are also at high risk for this infection. This toxin can lead to complications that range from intestinal disease to kidney failure and … [Read more...]

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